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2015 budget is election budget — Social Watch Phils.

The PhP 2.606 trillion national budget for 2015 might be mobilized in preparation for the 2016 elections, with practically half the budget estimated as lump sums and Automatic Appropriations, said Social Watch Philippines Lead Convenor Professor Leonor Magtolis Briones.

In an emailed statement, Briones said: “This is similar to the 2012 budget that preceded the 2013 elections.  The government cranks up spending for infrastructure and construction the year before elections. Concrete projects create the impression of growth, though it is a challenge to sustain this growth for the next years.”

Election spending also carries political implications for the officials and parties seeking positions in the government by the next elections.

“In the Philippine politics, elections are all about money. Government spending places incumbent politicians and their parties at an advantage over their opponents for the upcoming elections. Projects are credited to officials as part of their track record as the ruling parties would spend for projects in their allies’ jurisdictions. Opposing parties can be deprived of this spending, putting them at a disadvantage,” explained Briones.

She also relates the spending with the Disbursement Acceleration Program, with 2012 the height of DAP transactions, and lump sum appropriations. Lump sums are budget items that are not detailed, such as the Special Purpose Funds in the General Appropriations Act.

SWP’s assessment of the 2015 Budget reveals that practically almost half of it can be considered lumps due to the lack of details and mechanisms for clear accountability. This makes the funds vulnerable to abuse.

“Only P1.739 trillion is covered by the GAA. The rest are Automatic Appropriations and therefore, not scrutinized by Congress. The President’s Special Purpose Fund is PhP 378.603 billion, the Unprogrammed Expenditures is PhP 123.056 billion, Internal Revenue Allotment is PhP 389.860 billion, interest payments (debt servicing) is PhP 372.863 billion. This does not include Malampaya Funds which is also automatically appropriated, and Off Budget funds like the Motor Vehicles Users’ Charge and those coming from PAGCOR,” continued Briones.

SWS would like to see the government increase the allocations for social development, such as health, education and employment, in place of massive amounts in lump sums. Agencies are required to make regular reports on their expenditures, making transparency and accountability easier to trace and establish.

“The presence of lump sums in the budget, especially for one that precedes the elections, makes public funds all the more vulnerable,” said Briones.

  • judith

    At sana tutal nagbabayad sa OWWA ang mga OFW bakit di magpautang ng cash
    ng walang collateral basta may employment certification para makasimula ng
    negosyo o makapagpatayo ng paupahan habang nasa ibang bayan at may
    pambayad sa inutang. Ang isa kasi na requirement sa OWWA ay kung mag reretire
    na at may naipundar na saka lang magpapautang. Mahirap na sa ngayon mag
    pundar ang mga OFW ng cash kasi ang ilan ay di kalakihan ng sweldo.

  • judith

    Dami pala pera gobyerno bakit di tulungan ang ating mga kababayan na gustong umalis upang magtrabaho sa ibang bansa subalit kapos sa pera. Uu nga marami ngang lending institution jan sa atin ang problema sa mga ito eh sa dami ng requirements na hinihingi tuloy hindi ito kinakagat ng karamihan. Cguro mas maganda kung magmediate ang gobyerno sa mga lending agency para makasecure sila ng loan and in so doing eh bababa pa ang ating unemployment at tataas pa ang Dollar remittance ng ating bansa. Kung baga baka pwede na medyo pagaanin nila yung mechanism ng pagloloan sa mga lending agencies. Thumbs up for this comment. Nakakalula ang mga figures pero puro sa politika napupunta , mamamayan nagugutom pag eleksyon sardinas at bigas kapalit ng boto.

    • juliet

      For your information… To generate job you must have businesses. To have businesses you must have a good governance. To have a good governance is having more investors to come because of trust. To have more investors like China… Every Filipinos will definitely get job. That is the Domino Effect of “DAANG MATUWID”.

      Go to Cagayan de Oro and Pagadian City. A South Korean ship building company is erecting one of the biggest shipyard in the world that could generate jobs for 45,000 workers. This shipping company pays good as Filipinos working in South Korea said they got bonuses oftentimes higher than their salary and good housing provided by the company.

  • rey adones

    PNOY the public seek approval of the FOI Bill to enable us review/verify/account all expenses related to allocated budget for specific projects. Transparency will prevent any further corruptions………Approval of FOI Bill will answer all your doubts & questions….

  • positivepinoy

    BRIONESS HALATANG HALATA ANG MOTIBO MO ? GINAGAMIT MO PA KUNO ANG TITULO MONG ECONOMISTA AT PAST NATIONAL TREASURER ! TANGA !.. GATONG KA NG GATONG SA BAYAN NA MAWALANG NG TIWALA SA ADMINISTRASYON PANSIN KO TAKITIKA MO PALAKAS NG PALAKAS NA BATIKOS. TINITINGNAN MO KUNG KAKAGATIN NG BAYAN ANG MGA SINASABI MO ! TANGA ! HULI KA NA ! HINDI KA DAPAT PANIWALAAN NG MAJORITY NG MGA PILIPINO !.. ANUNG GINAWA MO SA BAYAN NUNG IKAW EH NATIONAL TREASURER SA PANAHON NI ESTRADA ? WALA KANG KRIDIBILIDAD !.BUTI NA LANG MATATALINO NA ANG MAJORITY NG MGA PILIPINO NGAYUN… ISA KA PA DIOKNO !